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tv   NOW With Alex Wagner  MSNBC  February 10, 2014 1:00pm-2:01pm PST

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shadows won't stop pressing for reform. if you really think you can kill immigration reform, you're only hastening the death of your own party. that does it for "the cycle." >> i say bridgegate, you say how high? it is monday, february 10th, and this is "now." >> new jersey's biggest paper has a case of buyers' remorse. >> we blew this one. >> i am embarrassed and humiliated. >> david wildstein was never actually approved by the governor himself. >> i was blind sided. >> how many times can you play the card, i had no idea this was going on? >> i had no knowledge. no involvement. i am stunned. >> does he have any idea what's
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happening in his office? >> congressmen are running from him. >> he was one of the normal ones that was running for president. >> he's a distraction. >> i am embarrassed and humiliated. >> you've been served. as many as a dozen more people can look forward to hearing those three not so magic words in this week's episode of the road to bridgegate. the new round is likely after meeting this afternoon of the special legislative panel investigating the lane closures on the george washington bridge. among the new questions, did governor christie take a helicopter ride over the traffic jam as it happened with david wildstein in tow? wildstein was the guy who allegedly ordered the lane closures under orders from the governor's office and the man
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whose character team christie has called into question. the five things you should know about the memo, the one that detailed wildstein's fast times at livingston high, it was distributed before the governor even saw it. >> the mayor was not on my radar screen. until i saw his picture last night on television, i wouldn't have been able to pick him out of a lineup. >> the mayor of ft. lee didn't make a big impression on christie when they had dinner at the governor's mansion three years before bridgegate. that lunch that included zimmerman led to two other
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encounters. the mayor believes it was payback for his refusal to endorse chris christie for reelection that fall. i was helpless. i was scared, and i was nervous. all i kept hearing about was that it was about me. i gave my police chief a directive, but his only function was to keep order and safety and to find out what this was all about. he told me monday morning, mayor, i'm hearing this is about you. joining me now is the politics editor at "business insider" and the chief white house correspondent, chuck todd. chuck, let me start with you. the super committee executive committee is meeting right now. they're expected to hand down as many as 12 subpoenas. included in that round should be the helicopter records.
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they could be a very big deal in this case if, in fact, they show david wildstein was aboard the helicopter with christie during the days of the ft. lee bridge closures. how worried should christie camp be? >> they're very worried about wildstein in journal. th wildstein is clearly looking for immunity. he's said it himself before. he's looking for some sort of protection in this so he's not held criminally responsible or perhaps he's worried about civilian lawsuits. he's clearly nervous and looking for some immunity. when you get to a point of survival, whether everything is about personal survival, you're seeing that the governor's office is acting like they're doing everything they can to protect the governor and see if they can survive being governor
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now. that can explain why they lashed out in an irresponsible way with high school things, which makes them look small and petty. then five days later, they're saying christie didn't have anything to do with this. look, i think it's clear that christie folks are concerned about the people that the governor was pretty rough on in that initial press conference. one of them was wildstein. the other one was bridget kelly. i'm sure they're very concerned. she pled the fifth. anybody that does the fifth, that's usually also code for i'm looking for a deal. >> josh, chuck brings up about the memo. it does also bring up the core
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question of competence. there's disaster management and how well is this man running his office. in a moment that is pivotal. >> it makes him look bad. this is decimating his political operation. a lot of the people who were key aides and advisers to him during this, he's fired them. there was an interesting piece over the weekend how it is taking up a lot of staff time in the governor's office trying to figure out what documents they need to turn over. people are focused on this investigation and they're fighting with each other. they're not spending the right amount of time on political
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strategy. >> that defensiveness continues today. there are explicit. christie says what the mayor is claiming a contradiction up to this point. this one isn't as character driven as some of the other pushback as been. but it leaves no room or gray area. i wonder how strategic that must be since this seems to have occured in a gray area. >> christie's office is noting what was correct, you know, for a long time. the ft. lee mayor wasn't making
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those claims. wasn't claiming there was a long-term relationship he had with the governor either. i think that's where this defensiveness is coming out of in christieland a little bit. this is why i don't understand their reaction and response. it is making them look more guilty in some ways because they're so aggressive about it. this is what you do when you're in a political crisis. you try to take your accuser and you try to make them as -- take away their credibility in any way, shape, or form. we've seen it with washington scandals. you attack your accuser and try to plant those seeds. it seems as if that's the playbook they're following. that may be how they survive staying in office. it's not a way to have a national political persona in the future. the national career seems to be over, for now.
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>> part of christie's appeal was supposed to be that he had such a bipartisan coalition in his own state. that he was beloved by democrats, republicans, minorities. how meaningful do you think "the star ledger" -- yes, we knew chris christie was a bully, but we didn't know his crew was crazy enough to put lives at risk in ft. lee to pressure the mayor. we blew this one. if we are taking away the question of his national power, where does this leave him in the state? >> i think "the star ledger" looks pathetic. their endorsement in october, they talk about how awful he is. they say he's a disaster on
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environmental protection and makes fraudulent claims. by the way, vote for him because this is still better than his democratic opponent. christie has never met with "the star ledger." he's been snubbing them. >> the pressure i was referring to was something they talked about in the editorial, which is the broad liberal support that christie has drummed up. >> when you look at the coalition christie has left in new jersey, it's still pretty nonpartisan. it's bipartisan in the sense you have a substantial number of republicans who are disgruntled with the governor. there was a deal where he didn't try too hard to win senate seats in the southern part of the
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state. yet, you have democrats in those same machines that were supporting him before still sticking up for him. i think the model he had before still works. incidentally, the petty attacks on officials have been a hallmark of his administration in the last few years. they usually just don't get national attention. that's worked locally. it just looks weird on a national stage. >> that old adage keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer seems to be thrown out the window here. christie has always had an abrasive relationship with those he didn't get along with. this might be one of those times where you want to sweeten the deal with people you have
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wronged. >> when bill clinton was going through a point where he had to save his presidency, the base of the democratic party was there for him in my ways and shapes and forms. chris christie is a man without an island. he's making new enemies. former allies becoming enemies and things like that. perhaps that's a way to governor and he cangoverning the state that way for a while. if you alienate your base, it causes problems. christie is finding out that the hard way. coming up, michael sam is poised to shatter a major barrier of professional sports.
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first, ted cruz invents something called the obama minimum wage. yes, really. george miller joins us to talk about that and the fate of the raise for the nation's workers next on "now." everybody knows t. well, did you know auctioneers make bad grocery store clerks? that'll be $23.50. now .75, 23.75, hold 'em. hey now do i hear 23.75? 24! hey 24 dollar, 24 and a quarter, quarter, now half, 24 and a half and .75! 25! now a quarter, hey 26 and a quarter, do you wanna pay now, you wanna do it, 25 and a quarter - sold to the man in the khaki jacket! geico. fifteen minutes could save you... well, you know. i've got a big date, but my sinuses are acting up. it's time for advil cold and sinus. [ male announcer ] truth is that won't relieve all your symptoms. new alka seltzer plus-d relieves more symptoms
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with 1.7 million jobless americans still waiting for congress to throw them a lifeline following last week's republican filibuster, the next battle over economic opportunity is already on the horizon. the minimum wage. the senate is expected to take up a bill sponsored by george miller and iowa senator tom
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harkin. it would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 over the next three years. >> right now, the minimum wage is lagging way behind the cost of living, way behind the growth in the economy, and it's back to where wages were less than they were in 1968. >> the facts are in dispute by the same people who tend to dispute facts in general. this was senator ted cruz at today's heritage action conservative summit. >> the president has told us he wants to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. the real obama minimum wage is zero dollars, because that's what everyone who has lost their jobs under the crushing taxes and regulations is getting right now, is zero.
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>> the obama minimum wage sounds like it doubles as a tax. that has not stopped ted cruz and company to kill a raise for the nation's workers. and investigation into today's "new york times," reveals that the economic studies about the harmful effects of a minimum wage increase are bank rolled by corporate interests. a corporation has no employees of its own. instead the employees policies institute share it is same headquarters and is run by a public relations firm that represents the restaurant issue. what group was at the top of the list that don't want to raise the minimum wage? the restaurant industry. the institute's economic reports are prepared by outside
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academi academics. one of them collected grant money over the last several years to deliver different reports. those so-called independent reports are then routinely cited by those who paid for them to support their case. if that sounds like circular logic, that's because it is. joining me now the democratic representative from california, george miller. >> thank you. >> please don't leave the house of representatives. >> thank you. >> with all due respect to your pending retirement, i want to get a sense of your hope for raising the minimum wage this year or even next given what the "new york times" is reporting
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today. >> i think clearly what we've seen as the legitimate studies have changed in favor of an increase in minimum wage, what the restaurant industry has done is they have gone out to try to research the best figures they could buy. they don't hold up with comparative studies. the arresearch now suggests tha this is a very positive economic event for main street. all through the recession, the number one complaint of small businesses wasn't government regulation. it was the absence of customers. we know people who work at the minimum wage have a difficult time providing for themselves and their family and their
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children. they just don't have enough money. people like ted cruz are trying to be flip and cute because they don't support an increase in the minimum wage. this is an amount of fairness. almost two-thirds of them are women. many of them have children. they're not teenagers. the vast majority are over 20 years of age. this is an economic reality in in country. the idea they should be paid a wage of $19.68 is ludicrous. >> congressman, paul krugman has a powerful article in "the new york times." he basically says that one gets the sense that contempt for the unemployed, and we're talking about the extension of unemployment insurance last
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week, those basically at society's lower rungs, that contempt comes first and the justifications for these tough policies are basically after the fact rationalizations. they retrofit their economic policy to go around a deep seeded content for certain parts of american society. >> i saw that, and i tend to agree with him, but the leader pelosi put it in stronger terms. not only for most of these people in the tea party and elsewhere who are opposed to this wage, these people are invisible to them. they're also indifferent to the plight of these people working at this very, very low wage. the republicans are suggesting that we keep the wages low so corporations won't have to pay them above a 19.68 wage. but they're supporting the continuation of federal subsidies to walmarts and larger
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restaurant chains. they want a government handout on top of a very low wage. it doesn't make any economic sense for the taxpayer or main street or for these individuals and families who are struggling at the minimum wage. it really has no sense of fairness or economic justice at all to it. >> congressman, you've had a storied career in the us house of representatives. i wonder when you look at stories and the fact that the coke brothers raised $400 million in the 2012 cycle, which was more than all the unions combined, or the same as all union es combined, you have th e thethes these -- there seem to be fewer
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and accepted arbitors of truth. >> i don't know how you hold on to a democracy. you see the coke brothers are at the epicenter of multiple organizations and campaign strategies to work against the interest of working families and people working at the minimum wage and people who need health care. you have two of the richest people in the country that somehow decided the country ought to be modelled in their image, which has no understanding of the needs of poor people, no understanding of middle class families, no understanding of the needs of students to pay for an education. they want an economy that serves their narrow needs that has made them among the richest people in the world.
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>> there's been some action in terms of actually passing a farm bill. there's talk of maybe a clean debt ceiling passage. do you think republicans will try to extract a price and democrats will play ball? >> the republicans have so damaged their own party. the tea party has killed the franchise. i don't think they have much bargaining chips. i think they're going to find that out on the minimum wage. the country is so overwhelmingly in support of raising the minimum wage there's not much to bargain for. the republicans are going to vote for the minimum wage. they just don't know it yet.
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>> thank you so much for your time. coming up, a group of wealthy residents in louisiana are pushing to separate their children from the poor pupils of a nearby community. we'll talk the roadblocks to education reform when john legend joins us just ahead. if i can impart one lesson to a new business owner, it would be one thing i've learned is
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>> you are guilty. >> you're the entertainment reporter for this station and you don't know the difference between me and laurence fishburne. >> my mistake. i apologize. my big mistake. >> there must be a very short line for your job outside there. >> that just happened. that was actor samuel l. jackson laying into rubin, a 20-year plus veteran in the business, later apologized. after the break, he may soon become the nfl's openly gay player, but michael sam is also poised to become the newest member of an esteemed club. we'll discuss his path next on "now." when jake and i first set out on our own,
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i'm michael sam. i'm a football player and i'm gay. if my team can support me, any team can support me. i want to be a football player. i want to be playing in the nfl. just to see people to see this, i may be the first. i probably may be the first, but i won't be the last. >> right now there are no publicly gay athletes in the nfl or major league baseball. that could change. sam, a defensive lineman for the university of missouri, came out to his team last august. yesterday, he came out to the world. speaking publicly about his sexual orientation, sam declared i just want to own my truth.
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if sam is drafted in may, he would be the first openly gay player in the history of the national football league. after the news broke, sam's fellow athletes and the league itself offered a strong show of support. by the public tolerance stands in contrast. yesterday an nfl personnel person told "sports illustrated" that he didn't think nfl football was ready for an openly gay player. last year, 49ers corner back said he wouldn't want to play with a gay man. sam fell 70 spots on the draft's prospect board. this is precisely the wrong
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thing to ask. the question, which we so often have been offered, is the nfl ready for a gay player, is backwar backwards. we refer to barriers being broken for a reason. this is going to be a fight. michael sam already knew that. joining me now from california is the inspiration for the movie "jerry maguire." let's talk about that moment in sports history. you said it is a signaled change in the acceptance of change. do you think michael sam will in some way suffer for this announcement at all?
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>> i don't. i think that the players are more than ready for this change. remember, they're part of a younger generation with very different attitudes about social issues. live and let live type of attitude. i've represented players for 40 years. the real question is -- can this player help us win? >> right. >> will this player sack the quarterback? that's what athletes care about. they are racially harmonious as they are. they are blacks, hispanics, whites, asians. he has already displayed he has the skill set to be accepted at missouri. college players obviously are less mature than the nfl players. this has been a long time
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coming. i think it's a wonderful development because it's a victory for tolerance and decency. >> what about his draft prospects? the numbers went down after his announcement. do you think that changes in the coming days and weeks, and how much do you think this is a coaching issue? we talked about the players and how much they accept their own, but this calls for leadership at the top. whether you're out of the closet or straight, we're all equal on the playing field. how critical do you think that'll be to sam's success? >> sam said he wanted to be a football player. the nfl congratulated him for his courage. it's not that there are older
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vestages. that draft concept was ridden not by an nfl scout. it wasn't ridden by a team member. those are just draft projections. >> right. >> he'll go to the scouting combine. it'll be important in those 20 minute interviews he has with teams to be honest, but then shift the issues. this is not a marginal player. he was fcc defensive player of the year. then he'll go to proscouting day. those ratings move up and down all the time. you're getting the first knee jerk reaction, but it won't be what prevails. five years from now, no one will even remember when there was a time when gay players were not
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involved in supports. this will trigger a number of players to come out. >> thank you so much for your time. coming up, we're getting some breaking news. the obama administration has announced it is delaying part of the affordable care act employer man dadate for a second year. y. stouffer's. made with care for you or your family. ♪ [ male announcer ] bob's heart attack didn't come with a warning. today his doctor has him on a bayer aspirin regimen to help reduce the risk of another one. if you've had a heart attack, be sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an aspirin regimen. ♪ we asked people a question, how much money do you think you'll need when you retire? $500,000. maybe half-million.
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in a small enclave of east baton rouge, louisiana, a committed group of wealthy residents are seeking to form a new city. their goal, to fund their own system through property taxes from wealthier and whiter homeowners. it would leave the rest of east baton rouge with fewer dollars for their struggling school system. tonya has two children in the system and told bloomberg news, it is going to devastate us.
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it is not just going to devastate poor families in louisiana. in 2007, a five to four decision by the supreme court and their conservative majority ruled that public school systems cannot factor in race in order to integrate school districts. they have cropped up in georgia, alabama, texas, and tennessee. the question of what will happen to america's poor and minority students is an open one. it's not simply a question of funding. it's also a question of leadership. minority students benefit from having minority teachers. they are 3.2% points to score a "b" or higher if taught by a
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minority teacher. black men makeup only 2% of the nation's teaching force. tomorrow, john legend will join teach for america for a google hangout encouraging more african-american men to join the field. >> it's not very often that my students get to see someone who looks like them who also has a schedu college degree. >> joining me now is john legend. john, it's an honor and a pleasure to have you on the show. >> it's great to finally be on the show. i watch you all the time. >> and i watch you and listen to your music all the time. it's a mutual appreciation. first off, thank you for doing this. we talk a lot about role models in society, and the question of black male leadership is one that is incredibly relevant at this moment. i wonder as a young black man or
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growing up as a young black man in america how important was this leadership question, having role models and people you could look to? >> first of all, i was raised by my father after my parents got a divorce. it was important for me also because my father wasn't a college graduate. he never went to college. it was important for me to have college graduates in my life who were got examples for me. my high school counsellor mr. dixon was kind of like an uncle figure for me. he mentored myself and my brother. it's not that my father couldn't have done that, but he didn't go to college himself, so it was good to have someone who was around and was a role model and had specific concern that we had someone to give us an example of
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where we could go. >> we were telling the story of these families in louisiana that were trying to secede from the school system. i think integration and racial mixing is also a key part of it. when you heard about that story, about what's happening in parts of the south with whiter, wealthier communities trying to draw a line, what was your reaction? >> we've seen it throughout other issues in our society. we're seeing a lot of the progress of the civil rights movement being rolled back as though everything is just fine. we can go back to segregating. we can go back to discriminating with impunity. it's really, really sad. it shows a larger problem, which
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is inequity that exists throughout the school systems. >> i think, john, it's not just coincidence that a lot of the talk about race isn't happening at the same time we have a black president -- >> i think it's part of it. i think folks when they see this black president in office, there's a sense among some that are afraid they're going to be on the losing end at some point and it's time for them to reclaim their position. so i think this was spurred in some part by us having a black president, yes. >> on that question, the president has talked to young black men. he's taken up an initiative or announced one in the state of the union. some people have been critical of him though and said he's not
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spent enough time in office focusing on the issues of black headsh leadership and young black men incarceration rates. how would you grade him thus far? >> there's more to be done, for sure. when we look at the incarceration rates and the criminal justice system, there's a lot more that needs to be done. when it comes to reforming our drug laws, we've come some way, but there's a significant difference between what kind of penalty you get for crack versus cocaine. if you look throughout the system, there's all kinds of discrimination occurs. when it comes to who gets locked up, it's the black folks and brown folks. there's still a lot of progress to be made. i never expected our first black president to focus his time on black folks, but we do need our
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president and our congress and all of our leaders to make sure our system is working fairly. that matters in the criminal justice system, but it specifically matters in our education system because that's preparing our young people to help themselves, to have a pathway out of poverty. >> i was having a conversation with a clinton strategyist deputy mayor, we were talking about idealism and music. and i was asking him as someone who follows music whether he thought that same idealistic spirit, that notion of change, still existed in contemporary music. i would ask you the same thing. in terms of producing a body of work that will be held as the cannon of the 21st century
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activism, do you think we're there artistically? do you think that spirit of idealism still exists? >> i think we're still idealistic and that artists want to tell the truth, but i think there's less urgency. in the 60s and 70s, there was more urgency because we had the draft back then. more people were invested in the idea we should be peaceful because they could be called into war. marvin gaye and these artists understood that these laws they passed in washington had an effect on young people. there was just a greater sense of urgency among artists in
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general. i think the civil rights movement and the vietnam war helped create that urgency. i don't think there's anything like that in this moment where artists feel that urgency enough. i think it's a reflection of the culture as well. artists led the way back then, but they were reflecting what young people were thinking about right now. right now, i think young people aren't thinking about what's going on in the world as much as they should. >> i will say, john, i wanted to get this in. today is the tenth anniversary of the college dropout. >> yes, it is. >> a song named "jesus walks," i wanted to congratulate you on that. >> i'm proud to have been a part of that album. my album came out nine months later. my tenth anniversary for "get
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lifted," is coming too. i'm happy we're still around and making music. >> some artists have a shelf full of grammys like you and some don't. thank you, john legend. >> i do want to say if folks want to look into what we're doing at teach for america, we're targeting young black men to get involved with the teaching profession. i'm going to do a google hangout tomorrow. >> tomorrow with teach for america. awesome. thank you. coming up, we have breaking news from the white house. the treasury department has announced a second delay to part of the affordable care act's employer mandate. .
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